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Thursday, 8 October 2015

The Hunter Become The Hunted; EFCC Chairman in Soup Over N1trn Looted funds’


Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibra­him Lamorde, is presently being investigated over allegations of diversion of over N1 trillion from the sale of confiscated properties belonging to convicted public officials including former governor of Bayelsa State, Diepreye Alamieyesiegha and former Inspector Gen­eral of Police, Tafa Balo­gun, among many others.
Information gathered that the Presidency’s searchlight had actually been on the EFCC following complaints and reports that EFCC oper­atives were notoriously let­ting some financial crimes suspects off the hook rather than prosecute them.
The decision to launch a full-scale investigation, however, started after one George Uboh appeared be­fore the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions on August 23 where he alleged that Lamorde dipped his hands into the said funds.
It was gathered that after his appearance at the Senate, the Presidency picked inter­est in the matter and direct­ed the Office of the National Special Adviser (NSA) to commence investigations into the allegations.
A National Assembly source said thereafter, the NSA, Major General Ba­bagana Monguno (retd) re­portedly swung into action.
“Series of complaints against Lamorde is his per­ceived slack supervision of his operatives. There have been series of allegations that operatives collect bribe from suspects and let them off the hook rather than in­vestigate allegations thor­oughly.
“This investigation is not a witch-hunt…It is meant to prove beyond reasonable doubt that they are not mere allegations but, they are weighty enough to warrant presidential scrutiny.”
In his petition to the Sen­ate, Uboh said the fraud allegedly perpetrated by Larmode dated back to his days as the Director of Operations of the EFCC between 2003 and 2007, as well as an acting Chairman of the commission between June 2007 and May 2008, when the then chairman of the anti-graft agency, Mr. Nuhu Ribadu, was away for a course at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, Jos.
Uboh, Chief Executive Officer of Panic Alert Se­curity Systems, a security firm, in his petition dated July 31 accused Lamorde of some specific instances of under-remittance and non-disclosure of proceeds of corruption recovered from criminal suspects, in­cluding Balogun and Ala­mieyeseigha.
He assured the Sen­ate that he would produce “overwhelming evidence” to back his claims against Lamorde.
Uboh also alleged that the EFCC had not account­ed for “offshore recover­ies” and that “over half of the assets seized from suspects are not reflected in EFCC exhibit records.”
The petitioner equally accused Lamorde of con­spiring with some EFCC officers and external audi­tors “to operate and con­ceal a recovery account in the Central Bank of Nige­ria (CBN) and excluded the balances from your au­dited financial statements between 2005 and 2011.”
“Lamorde continues to conceal the details of the unsold properties forfeited by both Tafa Balogun and DSP Alamieyeseigha de­spite receiving rent rev­enues from some estate agents on the said proper­ties,” he further alleged.
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